RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY is on the increase in Portugal according to the latest statistics released by the police.
In the first half of 2007, the PSP Police registered 4,314 break-ins across the country with Lisbon the worst affected, 1448, followed by Porto, 801, Madeira, 377, and Ponta Delgada 238.
When it came to crimes across the board, burglary and attempted break-ins to properties was the type of crime that increased the most, particularly in Lisbon, Superintendent Dário Prates told the weekend broadsheet newspaper Sol.
By June this year the number of complaints and reports of burglaries was up 15 per cent on the same period last year according to the PSP Criminal Investigation Division (Divisão de Investigação Criminal).
The police stations which received the greatest number of complaints were Amadora, Benfica and Cascais.
The pattern and characteristics of burglaries has also changed according to the police which states that apart from drug addicts there are more cases of burglaries committed by foreign and immigrant youths.
According to the police they ring the intercom buzzers of apartment buildings and, if someone opens the door, then attempt to break and enter flats while the owners are out.
Many of these young people are exploited by criminal groups from Eastern Europe and have to hand over valuables and stolen cash if they want to avoid being beaten up.
In some cases local residents end up being unwitting accomplices to the crimes. At Lisbon’s Quinta do Lambert, for example, there are reports of residents receiving calls from phoney companies offering to carry out product demonstrations and asking for details such as the best time to call at home.
The hapless residents end up by furnishing details about when they are at home and when they are out to the criminal groups concerned.
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